Sunday, 31 March 2019

Dying Light: Raishole

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

The detour isn't so bad as the next building is just full of zombies, which pretty much every place has been so it's nothing new. There aren't even any volatiles, so a quick kill followed by blood disguise lets me run past everything easily.

Running back to Rais' tower atop a crane which is hit by an RPG is pretty cool, but doing the final climb I get stuck in a part where you need to make a pretty big jump and for some reason cannot use the grapple.

Fortunately I can unlock an agility skill that lets you wall run and this gets me across the gap and up to the final QTE fight against Rais, which obviously results in his death. A GRE chopper comes to try pick us (and the cure research) up but we refuse.

Still better than the Shadow of Mordor final QTE battle.

One time skip later and, Dr. Camden reports that a cure is within reach, and basically that's the end of Dying Light! Next time it's onto "The Following" DLC. :)

Insight: Rais' pistol which is found in an Old Town side quest and not on Rais himself, is the best pistol I've come across so far. Try not to miss it! If he was wielding that instead of a machete, this boss fight would have been much harder.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Dying Light: Solo Finale

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Safe from the bombs for now, we visit Dr. Camden and clear his lab of hostiles for him before finally chasing after Rais. At the door to his tower the game warns us that this is the finale and is only meant for single player, so we wish each other luck and enter our own instance of the event.

The first yard itself is home to demolishers and runners and I immediately choose to run past, mainly because I find killing demolishers unrewarding. In Jim's instance, he decided to kill everything! Which is impossible because they respawn. Lol.

I then found myself in a tunnel full of volatiles. GREAT. Not fighting this time! Fortunately I still have UV flares to spare here to run past these scum in a mad parkour sequence. Failure restarts you at the top of the tunnel, but doesn't replenish your flares. Somehow DL managed to do this in his run without taking damage and without flares, so I guess I'm just terrible?

Not a good time to go slow.

Finally it is into the tower proper where a dying Karim, shot by Rais, warns us of the mines upstairs. We would need to take a detour to the next building.

Insight: Bring a LOT of flares and medkits into the finale with you. :P

Friday, 29 March 2019

Dying Light: Plan B

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Having failed the rescue mission, Troy wants us back on the "lets not get bombed to hell" campaign by attatching a gadget to the main broadcasting tower just outside the city.

This involves a lengthy trek through sewers, forest and construction sites, fighting all the non volatile types of zombies on the way in which is really easy for our team of experienced adventurers now. Indeed, the puzzle climb up the tower is more challenging, but we get there just in time and using the doohickey - divert the incoming bombers. Woo.

The trip back is far more exciting as it involves a dark tunnel which is connected to a volatile hive! We manage to sneak past it the first time, but then curiosity got the better of us and we went back - waking up all the volatiles and they started crawling out of everywhere!

Well, hello there.

We opted to try eliminate them all, but as the spawn is endless and our UV flares are not we eventually had to fall back slowly until we made our escape through some water. Glad we went back though, that was really fun!

Insight: A sprint attack (shift forward + mouse click) is much stronger than a regular (mouse click) attack... even if the sprint is only half a step! Always sprint attack if you can, at least with one handed melee weapons.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Today I Smiled: Brexit Analogies

Small break from the Dying Light story today to share some of these hilarious Brexit analogies and comments floating about reddit as once again "no majority" rules.

by allocater
The Brexit Quantum State: It can be everything everybody wishes, as long as it is not observed and always in the future.

by allocater
Only one thing has majority: Delaying Brexit by 1 month, every month.

by janggun100
Can we have Theresa May's deal?
Parliament: No
How about a new PM since the leadership is so bad?
Tories: No
Ok, how about a general election?
Parliament: No
Ok, so how about a slightly altered version of May's deal?
Parliament: No
So a no deal Brexit then?
Parliament: No
Fine, here are 8 different options just pick one.
Parliament: No

by slakmehl
The UK voted to eat at the restaurant, and now finds every option on the menu to be disgusting. So what's it going to be, Brits? Maybe leave the restaurant? Or are you just going to order whatever "poopsteak" is and take your chances?

by one_man_difference
Do you want a blowjob from a piranha?
Yes
Did you hear me just now when I said it was from a piranha?
Alright I change my mind
But you already said yes though

by arbyD
How many of you want a blowjob from a piranha?
    52% Want piranha blowjob
    48% Do not want piranha blowjob
Piranha blowjobs for everyone then!

by xenopizza
Would you like to stay or leave the EU ?
[ ] No

by chillidoor
I never thought I could be more embarrassed to be British than when we voted Leave, but here we are.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Dying Light: Aldemir

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Apart from the Sad Face plan not working, we get news that Jade and the cure research have been taken by Rais at the museum so we sneak and ambush his dudes, easily taking them down.

His second line of defense is an undead horde you are supposed to jump over, but DL stacks it so we all drop down and cleanse the area of zombies completely. Looting them all afterwards takes quite awhile.

Look at all those loot pinatas!

Finally we get to Jade but she too has been bit. Rais gives us one shot of antizin for torment's sake, and after tripping balls for a bit, Jade uses the antizin on us before going ape on Rais' next bunch of goons as she turns. I then snap Ms. Aldemir's neck while DL and Jim take care of Rais' last lieutenant.

Of course, Rais manages to get away.

Insight: Fire crackers are super handy if you get into a horde and have no time to bathe in their guts for a disguise. Apparently the noise and light is always more attractive to them than people are.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Dying Light: Sad Face

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Since we're helping out in her neck of the woods, Troy gives us news that the bombing of Harran is imminent and that the government is using the excuse that there are "no survivors anyway" to justify their actions.

Since we can't radio out (as Rais took our Sat phone), we are tasked to deliver a sign in a more old school way - setting up explosives in a tall building. Filled with zombies. Really? Why is everything filled with zombies?

We clear it with ammo to spare and detonate the charges which form a huge sad face on the building facade. It doesn't last long as a squad of military jets missiles the whole structure into ruin in a stroke of heavy handed cover up. Time for plan B.

That's one unhappy building.

Insight: Piles of blue garbage bags are your Assassin Creed haystacks. It doesn't matter how far you fall, you will take no damage if you manage to land on them. It's absurd, but it does save time. I've even used it to escape from volatiles.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Dying Light: Wizard Magic

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

It seems there are some crazies in Old Town too, encountering a cannibal guy in one basement and a full blown mass murderer in an office space. later in particular is one of my favorite encounters thus far, and is voiced perfectly.

Not all the crazies are bad though, like the alien conspiracy nut who gives us a useless ray gun. The "wizard" babysitter is much better, rewarding us with guns for helping him take care of kids in an orphanage.

The bear holds secrets!

The real reward there is when Jim decides to keep interacting with a teddy bear in that orphanage... that explodes? When the smoke clears there is a "Developer Blueprint" in its place for a Stasis Field Generator? WTF. It requires a lot of shrooms to create, but the effects are truly magical: a grenade that freezes everything (often in midair) within its explosion sphere!

Insight: There are a lot of demolisher zombies in Old Town and all can throw boulders accurately. The majority of them are not worth fighting though - only the ones tied to quests.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Dying Light: Oh Baby

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Hoping to catch up with Jade, we go talk to a group who help smuggle people into the next sector: Old Town. This involves a trip through the sewers and a betrayal as said people also work for Rais. They have no chance against us.

On the other side a new map awaits, and find "the Loft" a safe zone run by Troy who has a bad habit of sending us to where Jade is not. We also run a side quest of getting the water running again, and since there are three separate places to do this, we split up and hit one each - followed by the main valve which is guarded by a sole volatile.

Having fought a mob of them previously, this isn't very dangerous. We also hit some quarantine zones including the Striped Dragon Hotel where we meet a new type of zombie: the baby. Its cries drain health AND summon runners. Not a good combo which puts it on the "kill on sight" list.

Never hesitate if you have the shot.

Insight: The skill to cover yourself in zombie guts which makes you undetectable to zombies (other than volatiles) combined with the neck snap skill previously mentioned makes many horde encounters a cake walk. It also saves ammo and weapon durability.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Dying Light: Gladiator

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Returning to the tower we meet an even more upset Brecken. There's no time to sort out feelings though as Dr. Zere's lab comes under attack! We rush to the scene and kill some of Rais' goons but find the good doctor has been kidnapped.

We tail them back to Rais compound and find it suspiciously empty, until we all get knocked out via cut scene ambush. We awake in a pit arena with no gear. Rais is there gloating with Dr. Zere at his side. After monologing he unleashes zombies on us, because they collect zombies in containers for fun apparently.

The "real" Harran virus.

The litter makes decent weaponry and we manage to fight the waves off. As a finale he even drops in a demolisher, but given we just fought three of them at the prison this guy is a piece of cake. Especially after I knocked off his helmet via a thrown table leg. Rais is not pleased, and when he comes down to gloat we take the opportunity to disarm him and kill a few of his dudes.

Dr. Zere is hit in the commotion and says that all hope now lies with Jade who is taking his research to a Dr. Camden in the next sector. A massive parkour escape sequence follows, though not so much escaping from DL who specifically goes back to kill some snipers. Scott free, we get out on the road and promptly collapse from our injuries, only to be saved by Brecken and surprisingly, Karim who delivers bags full of our confiscated gear.

Insight: There is an skill unlock to throw melee weapons. I found that it's not really useful (especially if you want the weapon back) outside of this particular fight.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Dying Light: Prison Outbreak

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

After dealing with Rahim we find ourselves back at the fishing village where we meet up with annoying smart asses Tolga and Fatin, who we've been collecting junk for. This time they need a military grade sonar device at a camp that we need to rappel to - from the top of the tall bridge.

Fortunately Jim is sober during this and we make it across to the fully stocked camp, wiping out the zombies milling about and looting it dry. After delivering the device to the pair we then decide to visit the prison, via dingy (does the quarantine not stop ships?) and boy are we in for a surprise.

It's storming when we arrive and after fighting the very well armed soldiers outside (full gun fight this time, as they are too dangerous) we make our way into the interior facing hallways and rooms / arenas filled with zombies, even volatiles! This eventually leads to a fight against three massive, armored juggernauts who take forever to slay (especially the last one whom DL had to whirlwind strike with his axe)!

Probably need to skip all the prior fights to do this faster.

Our reward when we get to the armory is three rooms filled with gear and locked chests, but only 30 seconds to loot... WHAT? I just manage to swipe a few trivial items that aren't locked down but ultimately feel that the reward was not worth the risk. At least it was fun. With lighter pockets, we sail back to the slums.

Insight: Humans are just as prone to head shots as everyone else, and if they are using guns you might as well use guns too. There will be less overall noise if you kill them fast.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Dying Light: Darwin Award

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Despite being repeatedly told to just chillax in the Tower, Rahim had taken the explosives Jade brought back and decided to take a small crew to explode a not so nearby volatile nest. We find his team all dead on the overpass, and he himself hiding in a train car because I guess he was ambushed by zombies? What do you mean there'll be zombies in the zombie nest? DUHHH.

The idiot then hands us the explosives which HE HAS ALREADY ACTIVATED and tells us to finish the job. With just 4 minutes that doesn't leave us much time to argue so we run for it, right into the construction site nest, planting bombs in the midst of all types of zombies.

Better get running!

Being the fastest, I'm the only one who reaches the highest floor (only 4th floor accessible) where the actual volatiles are but with no time to spare I just plant the last bomb and run for it, making it out with 20 seconds to spare. My brothers had found lower exits and were ahead of me at this part, and from a safe distance away we then watched the whole structure implode on itself. It was very impressive.

A short trip back to Rahim revealed he had turned, and I gleefully break his neck. Idiots don't deserve to live.

Insight: There is a neck break skill you can unlock to use against everything else which will 1 hit kill them but requires you to get behind your opponent. It does not work on volatiles. I tried.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Dying Light: Fighting Back

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Before returning the zombie innards to Dr. Zere, we decide to harvest some shrooms for a witch and test a new bomb against the volatiles in a tunnel. The tunnel is particularly interesting as we go during the day, and find the monsters lurking inside.

We decide to take potshots, and seeing that they can't walk out into the sunlight - eventually arrow all of them down. The bomb is planted and as planned activated at night just as a new squad of volatiles wanders in to suffer its effects.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

There are more volatiles outside though, and these come running at the sound of the explosion but this time I make the call to stand and fight since we have new UV flares. These are effective in keeping them back, though they occasionally can pounce through the light. We slay a great many of the scum and gain lots of XP for as long as the flares burn.

The tide quickly turns once the last flare goes out though, and we are forced to grapple our way out of the swarm, returning to retreat and evade mode. Exciting and fun, but also very dangerous! We eventually rendevouz at Dr. Zere's lab, who examines the bolter guts and excitedly tells us this could be the first step to a cure! Oh, you mean we shouldn't be killing all the zombies? Whoops.

It's then that Rahim gives us a call asking for immediate help.

Insight: While volatiles are pretty scary, a headshot is a headshot so remember to aim. Once alerted they get really good at dodging though. ;)

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Dying Light: Temp Survivors

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Clearing the school let a new small group of survivors in, led by the now one legged mayor who is being hunted by assassins. Naturally we help, finding these guys were sent by Karim who declares the mayor to be a scum. This proves true as he abandons us after we get him and his group a helicopter ride out of there. At least he left some supplies. Karim is there to tell us "I told you so".

We also find another group that camped out on a roof top of a building with electrified scaffolding. Alas, the on switch for said defense was at the base of the building which effectively trapped all of them up there to cyanide their way out.

Only those bit turn.

Finally night descends and we can go hunt for the bolter zombie Dr. Zere wanted. On the way to the train yard my bros get spotted by volatiles and have to go running, meaning I'm the only one that reaches the spawning ground, which of course is crawling with more volatiles.

I employ all my thief skills to find the damned thing but just can't seem to find a clean way down. With dawn about to break, there's no choice - I just jump in which turns out to be good timing. All the critters run as the sun rises (I'd be dead otherwise), but I spot my green covered target and fire off one arrow. Boom. Headshot.

Soon after we're up to our elbows in bolter guts. Dr. Zere will be pleased.

Insight: Bolters are weak and don't actually require a headshot. As long as you hit them, they should die.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Dying Light: Junk Collectors

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Side quests continue, as we clear a motel, unlock caches and pawn shop supplies, fetch chocolates and movies for Gazi the hilarious retard and help General Jeff at the makeshift Fort Jefferson to turn on the gas for his "firewall" defense (which results in his entire safe zone exploding).

Shields keep you alive against explosions. And bullets.
Their usefulness drops as you level up though.

We also climb a freaking high bridge to collect the bridge lights which doesn't result in fun times for Jim, but we certainly all have fun with a gun challenge provided by a zombie movie producer who gives free temporary firearms and unlimited ammo to kill zombies in a time limit.

Eventually we make it back to the Tower where Brecken is losing his people and his morale. Jade suggests we go raid one of Rais supply dumps at a nearby school so we do, arrowing the thugs inside and find a supply of dynamite. Almost as good as antizin I suppose?

We are rewarded with a grapling hook which makes travel faster exponentially, though not so much for DL who likes to loot every single corpse. On the flip side, this means we have an over supply of junk that clears some of the lesser fetch quests. What Dr. Zere asks for next though is something we don't have... the insides of a "bolter" zombie.

Insight: The grappling hook trivializes escaping from volatiles, as long as you remember to have it equipped and aren't caught in an open field.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Dying Light: Team Arrow

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Despite the whole, "we're out of antizin and turning into zombies soon" issue - we collectively decided that it was side quest time - saving some woman from a rapist, helping the loon who calls himself Gas Mask Man (guess why) to retrieve his treasure from a lake, and supplying a "pregnant woman" with way more booze than required.

At one of the fishing settlements I also finally get my hands on a bow and some arrows, and after discovering it can silently one shot zombies and brigands if you hit the head - both my brothers quickly followed suite and we basically became Team Arrow.  Suddenly, the city got a lot safer, easily cleaning out the Stuffed Turtle shopping mart quarantine zone with our new weapons.

Oliver Queen would be proud.

We even got kill these pushers of "fake antizin" while screaming "YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY!". Ok, maybe I was the only one saying that. In my head. The arrow dodging volatiles were still a threat though, and proved it when we attempted to turn on the main power generator at night. Having a horde of walkers in the way didn't help, but we were forced to retreat until morning.

The next day we cleaned up all the walkers in the surrounding area, then just camped the power switch until night fell, making this a much easier task than previously thought. Afterwards, Jim decided to gift us Ranger Bows - an even stronger upgrade to what we already have.

Insight: Bows are ranged, silent, and are one of the best weapons in the game.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Dying Light: That's not Rais

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Turning on the comms is not enough to satisfy Karim, so we are next sent to get protection money from a bunch of local outposts which is easy enough as no one really wants to get Rais' ire. In between we are collecting air drops, even killing Rais' dudes for it, and sneaking around at night past the volatiles.

We also came across the Sunny Apartment quarantine zone and cleared it room to room. Having a pistol from a police car certainly helped a little. The Underground Parking quarantine was much harder as it had patrolling volatiles who needed to be dodged while looking for supply crates amid the alarmed cars.

Survivor sense somehow gives you x-ray vision when it comes to volatiles.

DL took up distraction duty with his favorite firecracker / molotov combo while Jim and I did the searching. At the end I think there was only one volatile left as the rest had burned from DLs efforts.

Despite all our hoop jumping, Rais decided to only pay with a handful of antizin instead of the original two crates worth. His next task involves some sort of perversion with Jade so we tell him "We'll think about it," when in reality we were thinking "Can't we kill this guy now?". Our loyalty to the GRE also wavers more when they advise we -should- just hand Jade over.

Insight: While firearms are bad outdoors in that the sound attracts everything, you should definitely make use of them indoors - unless trying to sneak of course!

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Dying Light: Slip and Slide

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

The tunnel is home to abandoned trains... and a seemingly endless army or "runner" type zombies. Fortunately DL has taught his FEAR slide kick maneuver to us, and it proves very handy for dealing with them in tight quarters.

We ultimately need to run past them though and loot the large supply drops still in the train cars - as well as one annoying one on the side which requires Jim to watch my back as I pick a lock through the access gate. When we finally get out we're covered in so much zombie guck it's disgusting. Little did we know this would be a valid zombie evasion tactic later on.

Finally, smelling like intestine contents, we arrive at Rais' compound and discover he's the target that has the GRE file we came to get in the first place. Unfortunately his gun toting guards don't give us an opportunity to do anything about it. Instead we are sent to his aide, Karim, to work for antizin.

High places usually have wires you can use to zipline down.

Our first task is to climb up radio towers to try get the comms back on, much to Jim's dismay. I should point out that Jim likes to drink while playing and as the night goes on, these climbing puzzles become more challenging for him. It does become more amusing for DL and I to watch him attempt though. ;)

Insight: In co-op, someone can stay downstairs to revive people who fall.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Dying Light: Nightmare Scenario

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

We don't get to watch the medicine burn for long since horrible screams pierce the air and announce that night has come. And so have the nightmares. These beasts are fast, agile, good climbers, strong and pretty damn tough as I quickly find out when trying to fight one which does not go well at all.

My brothers scatter, splitting up the horrid monsters and leading Jim to find that for all their strengths, they can't swim - much like regular zombies. It takes some effort but we all make it back to the Tower where Brecken is shattered at the "no antizin" news.

There is a lot of crouch walking involved.

This forces his hand into trying to deal with the brigand group and its leader Rais. Naturally, we are sent as emissaries (as planned), and begin the long hike to their base. On the way we scavenge through cars on the street, save other random survivors and secure more safe zones - some of which involve intense climbing of radio towers because apparently zero ladders survived the zombie outbreak.

Then we come across an old tunnel called the Bright Mountain Quarantine zone. Apparently its one of the original places the outbreak spawned from and is crawling with infected, but by the same token all the supplies inside would still be there. We decide to go in.

Insight: The night time monsters can out run you, but you can out climb and out parkour them so get to the rooftops.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Dying Light: Getting the Drop

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

After spending the night snoozing at the safe house, I return to the Tower to finally meet up with my brothers (coop mode! yay!) and the Tower leader, Brecken - who is injured and upset that his team got pwned during their failed supply run last night. With Antizin running low, there's not much choice but to try again. We outsiders volunteer.

Called in some backup!

Since the better armed and more violent "brigand" faction seems to get to air drops really quickly during the day, we need to go for night drops and risk the "horrors" instead. Sounds like a plan! There are a bunch of other fetch tasks the other plebs at the Tower ask for as well, so I make a shopping list.

In the meantime Jim goes to stock up and craft supplies while DL goes and hits on Jade, the woman that saved me on arrival. Once we're all done with our *business* we move out and start clearing out as many safe zones as we can, all while moving towards the last reported drops... which are empty - to no one's surprise.

Just as the sun gets low, a cargo plane flies into view dropping another crate of vital supplies. This is it! We race to it and find it is full of antizin, then like the obedient GRE dogs we are, we take a handful for ourselves and TORCH THE REST. Just like we were ordered to.

Insight: More people makes it more fun, but also less scary. :)

Monday, 11 March 2019

Dying Light: Firey Workout

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Due to its scarcity and the number of bitten people, The Tower strictly regulates who gets antizin which means I need to make myself useful first. After some brief tutorials at the tower I meet Rahim for some physical evaluation at the "gym" which is basically just rooftops and -learn- show off my awesome parkour skills.

This ends abruptly when I start turning yellow because of the zombie bite and Rahim quickly instructs me to go across the street to Dr. Zere's mobile lab. A short jog and a few jumps over some aimless Z's get me there and gets a shot of antizin into my arm. Dr. Zere might be smart but he also seems a little cuckoo.

My next task is to help setup traps scattered around the slums, UV traps specifically because there are supposedly some really nasty pieces of work that come out at night which have a weakness to it. This trek is a pretty long one, and leads me to a non-functional safe zone.

Non-functional because there's a giant, hammer wielding zombie residing in it. Since it looks tough, I just craft a few molotovs and burn it while safely perched on a roof. The smell of roasting meat is delicious.

Burn you bastard.

Insight: Molotovs are fantastic in this game, especially since many zombies can't climb and instead mill around in groups beneath your perch.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Dying Light: First Bite

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Harran, another city infected with zombies. Fortunately this one has been quarantined by the local government. Unfortunately, the GRE (the Global Relief Effort) is sending us in to recover a stolen file with sensitive info that is being used to black mail them. Shouldn't be a problem, as we've all faced zombies before - and now have even trained up to be in peak physical condition! Time for the intro cut scene!

Step 1: Parachute out of plane.
Step 2: Get separated from the others thanks to high winds.
Step 3: Land right into some brigands.
Step 4: Get bitten by first zombie encountered.

WHAT? Well, that went to hell right away. A brother/sister duo appear out of nowhere and manage to get me to safety.  Well, the woman does. The guy becomes zombie chow just as I pass out.

Sorry random dude, I hardly knew ye!

I'm surprised that I don't wake up as a zombie, instead finding myself in a high rise survivor base aptly called "The Tower". I also learn that while the bite will be fatal, there is a drug being airdropped regularly by the GRE that will keep that infection at bay - at least temporarily, called Antizin.

I need that drug! DRUGGGGGS! (Hmm maybe I am a zombie already after all?)

Dying Light Diary

Much like Dead Island, my brothers and I are playing this on coop and are having a blast, though that does mean story updates may be slower to arrive. Hope you enjoy the tale - spoilers ahead!

Chapter 01 - First Bite
Chapter 02 - Firey Workout
Chapter 03 - Getting the Drop
Chapter 04 - Nightmare Scenario
Chapter 05 - Slip and Slide
Chapter 06 - That's not Rais
Chapter 07 - Team Arrow
Chapter 08 - Junk Collectors
Chapter 09 - Temp Survivors
Chapter 10 - Fighting Back
Chapter 11 - Darwin Award
Chapter 12 - Prison Outbreak
Chapter 13 - Gladiator
Chapter 14 - Oh Baby 
Chapter 15 - Wizard Magic
Chapter 16 - Sad Face
Chapter 17 - Aldemir
Chapter 18 - Plan B
Chapter 19 - Solo Finale
Chapter 20 - Raishole
Chapter 21 - The Way Out
Chapter 22 - The Same but Different
Chapter 23 - Pump it Up
Chapter 24 - Racer X
Chapter 25 - All your Base
Chapter 26 - Powerless
Chapter 27 - Dirty Water
Chapter 28 - Heroes of the North
Chapter 29 - Power Up
Chapter 30 - Up Close and Personal
Chapter 31 - Getting High
Chapter 32 - Treasure Hunt
Chapter 33 - Desperate Measures 
Chapter 34 - The Mother

This story is finished for now, thanks for reading! 

Friday, 8 March 2019

Satellite Reign

Syndicate reborn.

In a future where the world is dominated by militarized technology companies (and their satellites) led by evil people, it is up to your small upstart group to take down the biggest fish and take control for yourself!

If you liked Syndicate then you will like this game where you can control up to 9 units on an open city map. You are then let loose to do as you please, taking actions like: hitting security stations to slow down cameras. Robbing banks to get money. Fund researchers in developing new tech to install into your cloned cyborg agents. Bribe guards to walk away or leave doors open and turrets deactivated.

It's great that all the objectives have more than one approach to them, and the fact that you can't save when you are "wanted" (cool down timer) or in a "restricted zone" means you need to be on your toes and to plan ahead carefully - in my case to sneak around a lot. I also quite liked that the bad guys also get stronger tech as you do, so you are never quite overpowered until very late in the game.

The more the merrier!

Definitely one I recommend to strategy / tactics gamers. You'll need to dig for the story if you want to, but even just playing for the surface game is well worth your while. 4 mecha tanks out of 5.

Insight: The hackers ability to "recruit" people is very useful. Especially on strong enemies.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

The Punisher (Series)

His solution to crime is more permanent.

After his family is brutally killed, Frank Castle (perfectly portrayed by Jon Bernthal) makes it his quest to punish those responsible - and those like them - in very violent ways.

Obviously a show for an adult audience, there is a fair amount of good, visceral action in this series - though not as much as some would like. Indeed, there are many quiet moments, particularly in Season 1, that slow the pace right down. I didn't mind it too much, just don't expect to have gunfights each episode.

Boom. Head shot.

Season 2 fixes most of that (apart from the tepid first episode), but nothing really compares to his strong debut in Daredevil S2. That said, this two season series is still worth a watch.

MMO Design: Limited Resource Design

[Part of the Design Folder]

DMDavid's Adventurer's League quick start document has many interesting ideas that I would like to see in an MMO setting. A summary of intriguing mechanics that I've altered slightly for MMO consumption:

-Players only gain gold when they level up, with higher amounts awarded for higher levels. Once a player reaches max level they can get no more gold.

-Gold can only be used to buy mundane (non magical) gear and/or services from NPC merchants. A healing potion is an example of magical gear that you cannot buy with gold.

-Players gain level through advancement points, which are gained via quest progression and not necessarily by killing monsters. They cannot be farmed. More advancement points are required to advance to higher levels.

-Monsters will only drop quest/adventure appropriate items. Not loot and not EXP in the traditional sense.

-Players also gain treasure points by leveling up, with more points awarded for higher levels. Once players reach level cap, they can gain no more treasure points.

-Treasure points are spent on NPCs who sell powerful magic equipment - like, a single use healing potion. All this magic gear is of the consumable type, that is having a fixed amount of uses and then is gone. A magic sword might have 10 swings before returning to a normal sword permanently for example. Even the cheapest magic item will require multiple levels worth of treasure points to purchase.

-Gold, treasure points and advancement points cannot be traded / bartered between players but equipment (regular and magic) can. Equipment can never be sold back to NPC merchants for their corresponding currency.

As you might appreciate, this strongly pushes players to have characters "retire" at end game - but it also might encourage multi-toons because to fight "that last boss" I need / want to send my best guy with all the best magic gear... which only happens if he is equipped by other people.

There might even be a "retire" option (so the server can save on character slots) which sets aside the old adventurer permanently but gives your new character a magic item or two from the old one, if the veteran was of high enough level - or perhaps spent enough gold in his will.

If you wanted to "hard core" it, permadeath can also be applied again using the "will" system to pass on some hard earned items. In this particular case I don't think it is required though, and death being just a time penalty (returning the player to a spawn point) is enough since the limited resource design will eventually lead the players to the end/rebirth.

Now, one caveat of such a game is that there must be more quests than levels - and that the easier quest options become "non-rewarding" once you get past a certain level to avoid people that just go after low hanging fruit.

What do you think? Would such a game interest you?

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Assassin's Creed (Movie)

The producers took "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted," to the next level... down.

Cal (Michael Fassbender) is abducted by Abstergo to relive the memories of his murderous ancestor to find a mystical doohickey. Because clearly, if instinct is passed down through genetic code, the memories of your ancestors are too!

Much like the game series this is based upon there are two stories taking place here. The "past" is great and action packed, though expect to read subtitles if you don't understand Spanish. The "present" is very spartan in comparison but the plot is a train wreck and Cal himself lets out a huge WTF not long into the story.

I should just jump off this building and end it all...

Indeed, the proceedings just get worse as the tale goes on and while I can semi-forgive the near bloodless deaths the ending here is just rushed. Either they ran out of budget, didn't know where to go, or both. Not one I recommend, play the games instead. I give this 1.5 awkward shots of Jeremy Irons out of 5.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Neverwinter Online: Goodbye Foundry

Life support: Off.

Cryptic has decided to pull the plug on the Foundry, which is a real shame since that was the one feature that got me playing it in the first place. It doesn't really come as a surprise though as the Foundry has pretty much been "dying" for years due to lack of official support.

This move also affects Cryptic's other MMO - Star Trek Online and much of what Contains Moderate Peril mentions on his post about this rings true for the NWO side as well, with players abusing the system and Cryptic not doing a good enough job to make the program more robust.

Players have until April 11 to enjoy player made foundry adventures for the last time before they are lost to the void. I'll be visiting my ones and DL's for sure, just for one last goodbye.

Bleach (Movie)

Good if it gets a sequel, lousy if it doesn't.

Ichigo is no ordinary high school student, he can see ghosts and as such is embroiled in affairs not meant for the eyes of mortals - mainly that of violent spirits (aka Hollows) and those who hunt them (Shinigami).

Size compensating sword, check!

After a shaky start the story finds some decent footing and the CGI is quite good as are the action sequences of which there are a decent number. Unfortunately it is let down by the ending which I assume was a "safe" way to do it, but to be fair a similar thing does happen in the anime too, the only difference is the anime goes on.

For fans of the manga / anime this is a condensed retelling of the Agent of Shinigami arc, and it actually works just fine, possibly due to the amount of bloat in the original content (hello shots of running feet). All up Bleach turned out to be better than I thought, and is worth a watch but don't expect anything from the end. I give it 2.5 flash steps out of 5 and would probably watch it again.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Fallout Tactics: Vault 0

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

With Barnaky's forces gone, only a bridge guarded by gatling turrets remains. The defenses on the opposite end are easily destroyed but the squad is caught by surprise when a second pair emerge behind them, ripping Jo into pieces before being destroyed.

Badly hurt, Frances, Pump and Malice hobble to the main chamber where they find the robot master "the Calculator" which is literally a PC connected to human brains in jars. They open fire from the doorway before it can put up any more defenses and destroy it easily - effectively shutting off the entire robot army.

How you win the game.

Alas without the Calculator, Vault 0's knowledge archives are lost forever and Dekker is expelled for his cowardice on the field (or rather, he never got on the field). Supposedly he was taken off world to join a mercenary band but others simply believe he killed himself.

Regardless, Frances is made the Brotherhood General by the remaining survivors and makes Vault 0 their main base of operations. Malice becomes captain of defense to stay near Glenda, his Reaver lover and Pump takes over leading the assault teams against all those who would try to take Vault 0 from them.

Frances knew there would be no peace. Only war, and war never changes.

Insight: If you don't shoot the computer from the door, it raises a shield and you have to clear the rest of the base behind it. At this point I just wanted to win already.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Fallout Tactics: Barnaky

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

With the door breached, the team found Dagger squad already securing the foothold and gunning down robot defenders. They inform Frances that the power to the lifts are out, so she takes her team fighting through the security and cryogenics sectors to find a way towards the power plant.

Surprisingly, they encounter human Vault 0 citizens but as they fight for the robots they too are gunned down. Eventually they get the power back on and descend to the lowest floor. There they encounter robot squad led by General Barnaky, whose brain and eye stalks now sit atop of a metal body.

Looks like charisma was his dump stat.

Using trinkets they took from his human corpse causes him to hesitate and is an easy kill for the team. The rest of his robot squad are more dangerous, and Dr. John who did a good job keeping everyone healthy up to this point is exploded by a rocket before the enemies wiped out.

Insight: Ammo wise, you want to horde 5.56 and 7.62 caliber for fighting super mutants. There is a lot of energy ammo for the regular laser weaponry at the end to face the robot horde with, and it also happens to be the most effective against them.

.50 cal is also great to reserve for the robots, but all the other rounds are only really useful for the pre-super mutant battles. The .44, .45, .303,. 30.06 are pretty rare too and while the 9mm is plentiful it gets out dated really fast. Make sure to level up your big guns and energy weapon skills accordingly.